Many of you will have seen the recent Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) guidance, released as part of their Earned Recognition (ER) Scheme.
The Concrete Operational Module has been coming for months and is inevitable for a high-risk sector like ours.
But what does it mean for you when it comes to training?
Let’s have a look at what the ER scheme is first.
“DVSA earned recognition for vehicle operators is a new way to prove your organisation meets driver and vehicle standards.
You regularly share performance information with DVSA. In return, your vehicles are less likely to be stopped for inspections.
It’s a voluntary scheme that’s designed to work for operators of all sizes.”
So, it’s a scheme that allows operators to demonstrate they meet DVSA standards—nothing wrong with that and a step further than other available schemes.
ER is the only scheme recognised and endorsed by the Traffic Commissioner; should you be unlucky enough to be invited to see them, that’s a significant endorsement.
“We won’t recognise it as we aren’t members of the BAA” or “We already use FORS, so we won’t use it” are some things we’ve heard since the launch but are missing the point.
As I’ve just explained, it demonstrates what standards ready-mix or volumetric operators need to meet, regardless.
Working with DVSA to ensure that we do things better and improve road safety, everything is mapped to current laws, legislation, standards, mixer manufacturers operating instructions, and industry guidance that’s already available, so it shouldn’t be a shock to anyone, it’s just been neglected to be implemented.
Training & Competence
It covers the sector-specific training requirements of the driver, the transport manager (or responsible person), and back-office staff.
Ensuring everyone has the same training will make things much more straightforward and give everyone an understanding of their role in the supply chain.
We can no longer have managers and shippers instruct drivers when they’ve never had any specific experience, training or understanding. Rollovers, load security, weights, and additional maintenance are all mixer-specific issues, yet they continue to be ignored.
Competence is a requirement; a demonstration of competence in the vehicle, in this case, the mixer, is another of those industry requirements that have yet to find its way to be implemented – going back at least ten years.
It’s also a requirement under British Standards and the manufacturer’s operating instructions; again, it’s one of those fundamental requirements we can’t seem to grasp.
Trainers/Mentors/Buddies need to be up to a standard that’s not only recognised across the industry but also by the DVSA.
Consistent information sets a standard to ensure they’re competent to deliver specialist training and carry out vehicle-specific assessments – not simply because they’ve been doing it the longest or their face fits; it has to be measurable, and they need to be up to the standard set.
Vehicle Familiarisation – the concept might be the same; however, the manufacturers all supply different equipment, which is hugely important.
We can’t accept that because someone’s been shown how to use a mini mixer from one manufacturer, they’re automatically authorised to operate and drive an eight-wheeler weighing fourteen tonnes heavier and handling differently.
We’ve recently heard that familiarisation training for mixer drivers isn’t essential. Marketing slogans that ask the public to watch out for the mixer rolling need to be revised, and that’s where the industry needs to improve. We continue to shine a spotlight on the positives yet continue to ignore the crucial issues that affect us.
Everything covered in the training requirements is specific to mixers (drum and volumetric), everything we’ve been offering for eight years. For the past twelve months, we’ve seen the value and importance of companies delivering DVSA-accredited training and assessments in-house and under licence, letting them take ownership of everything without the hassle of producing and updating the content.
A popular and cost-effective solution that allows the same standards to be recognised and introduced across the industry.
Robust quality assurance ensures integrity, and we’ve got a ready-made card scheme that’s fit for purpose, is recognised across the board and comes with three independent accreditations, including the DVSA.
As for everything else in the guidance? You’ll find everything you need to know by clicking on the link.